Charlie Manuel frequently makes poor strategic decisions. The 11-million dollar scoreboard in left field would probably do a similar job. We guarantee a post analyzing Manuel's decisions for every Phillies game. Please click on our aliases below to email us.

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95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Game 134: 8th inning of equal importance, usually more important (73-61)

To start, Mr. Musser had a great point in the suggestion of starting Greg Dobbs (someone wildly overrated) over Feliz with Hamels pitching. Since Cole is a strikeout pitcher, the Phillies defense isn't as crucial as when someone like Kendrick pitches. The platoon effect is true, thus Dobbs probably should have faced Dempster.

Now, to the only inning that mattered. The bottom of the 8th inning. (Bold print signifies the thought process that should be going through Manuel's head as a Major League manager, italicized show his most likely thoughts)
Phils are up by 3.

Note: This is about to get overly sarcastic until about the last 3 paragraphs. If you're looking for something serious, try this.

This is good, a solid cushion with the 9,1,2 hitters up. Bring in a pitcher that can most likely escape any serious problems. Then, if we get into trouble, bring in Lidge to face Lee, Ramirez, etc.
It's the 8th inning. Not an important inning, I'll bring in Madson, he looks good bald.

Manuel brings in Ryan Madson to face 9,1,2 (actually a good decision regardless of the reason Manuel did it). Madson gives up a home run on the 2nd pitch.

Well, that certainly wasn't good. No serious threat though as now, no one is on base.
That ball was hit really, really far. He's a good hitter. It's the 8th inning. Not the 9th, the 8th.

Then next hitter, Soriano, crushes a ball to DEEP right center field. The cubs now have a man on 2nd base with no one out.

Ok, it's time for Brad Lidge. The heart of their lineup is about to come up, and there is no one better equipped to face said heart than Brad Lidge. He is our best pitcher. It's the 8th inning, but when he most likely gets out of the inning, depending on his pitch count, we could use Durbin to start the 9th with no one on base and most likely the 5th or 6th hitter leading off.

Well, this is starting to look bad, I better get Durbin up. It's the 8th inning, I can't possibly bring Lidge in here. He probably wouldn't be able to go 2 full innings and thus wouldn't get a Save (oh boy, how important saves are, I love them so much)...... "Rich, get Durbin up, didn't you know it's the 8th inning?"

Madson is left in to face Ryan Theriot. He singles to right field. 1st and 3rd with still 0 outs. Clearly, tonight isn't Madson's night (it was his birthday though).

Wow, why isn't Lidge in right now? I mean he's our best pitcher, and this game is uber important....
Sorry to interupt, but didn't you know it's only the 8th inning?
You moron, it is (not mixed Manuel) the 8th inning. It is one of the 9 = innings in a baseball game. If you give up a few runs this inning, they remain there for the rest of the game. So, these runs, which are about to score I remind you, are just as important as the non-threatening clean slate that would be the beginning of the 9th inning. Brad Lidge should have been in by now, to give us our best chance, but since he's not, BRING HIM IN NOW.

It's the 8th inning, we'll save him for later, you know, when it actually matters. But I.... nevermind, it's clearly a futile attempt. Go ahead... Who will we use next inning when its the

(drumroll please).....

cymbals crash....

9th inning?

Durbin comes in with 1st and 3rd, walks Lee to load the bases for Aramis Ramirez. The game is all but over.

Why are my thoughts not translating into actions? I have to know that this is not the correct situation. We're about to lose, and we haven't even warmed up our best pitcher yet? Surely I must be incapacitated.

I wish it were the 9th inning so that I could use our best pitcher. Well, I guess I have to sit on my hands, I already made one move.

Ramirez hits a grandslam. The game is now officially over. Nothing matters anymore. Lidge was not used. 8th inning, 8th inning!

I guess the real Manuel has the right idea. Good thing we saved Lidge for the bottom of the 9th. What did the Cubs do in the 9th? Nothing, they didn't need to bat. They won.

This post is overly sarcastic due to the fact that we are absolutely sick of Charlie Manuel's ability to blow seemingly won games (I am aware that the Cubs are a really good team. They're offensive machines, they lead the league in both OBP and OPS, and 3 runs is not a certain win, but it would be nice in games like this, if Manuel gave his team the best chance to win).

In the 8th inning alone, the Phillies went from having a 90.4% chance to win (before Madson threw a pitch) --> 82% chance (after homer) --> 70.9% chance (Soriano double)--> 58.3% chance (Theriot single) --> 46.5% (Lee walk, bases loaded 0 outs, up 2, on the road) --> 6.5% (Ramirez homer)

All of this managed to happen without the Phillies manager noticing that the team's chances were dwindling. He failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that the Phillies might win this game. Inexcusable.

P.S.

Cole Hamels really sucks. He didn't get another win. When is he going to start acting like an Ace, and just will his team to victory? Selfish bastard!

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